One of my favourite Vietnamese dishes are salad rolls, their light and easy to eat. My husband is Vietnamese so I’ve eaten my fair share and know that $3.00 a roll at a restaurant is a rip-off, so I decided to make my own. Making your own also gives you the opportunity to put things you don’t normally find in a restaurant roll.
All the ingredients were available at my local Asian supermarket (T&T), and don’t need a lot of prep. If I’m lazy, I get the smaller, pre-peeled, frozen shrimp, no peeling or slicing required.
Rice Paper (Trial and error on brand – I chose “Rose Brand”)
1/2 lb – Prawn or Tiger Shrimp (fresh or frozen)
1/2 lb – Pork Belly (skin on or off) or Pork Tenderloin if belly is too fatty for you
1/2 package (3 “squares”) of vermicelli rice noodle
English cucumber (optional)
Bean sprouts (optional)
1. Boil prawns until fully cooked, run under cold water (or let cool), peel and slice in half
2. Boil pork belly until fully cooked, run under cold water (or let cool), slice thinly
3. If adding egg, beat 1-2 eggs well in a bowl and cook on a non-stick pan over medium heat, flip, (cooking like a pancake). Let cool and cut into strips
4. Cook vermicelli in water as directed or until desired tenderness
4. Wash & dry lettuce (and veggies), rip/cut into strips
5. Prepare a bowl of hot water big enough to fit the rice paper well as it breaks easily when dry. I put the rice paper into a bowl until it’s soft & flexible then carefully place on a plate for rolling, draining off as much water as possible first.
6. Put ingredients onto rice paper without overloading
7. Rolling – fold the 2 sides in first, then fold the bottom in and roll upwards (don’t worry, the first few times are tricky!)
3 – 5 cloves of minced garlic (I use a teaspoon of garlic powder because I don’t like the chunks)
3 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce
4-6 tablespoons crunchy or creamy peanut butter
Water to desired consistency and taste (about 1 cup)
Splash of lemon or lime juice and/or fish sauce (optional)
2-3 teaspoons chili sauce or chopped chilies (optional)
Chopped peanuts (optional)
1. In a small sauce pan, add ½ a cup of water and the garlic. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to low.
2. Add Hoisin sauce and peanut butter (and chili sauce). Stir until peanut butter has dissolved and the ingredients mix together thickens, adding water as you go along.
3. Taste. Add extra Hoisin sauce, peanut butter, chillies, lemon juice, fish sauce and/or water until you get the desired taste and consistency. (example: I like it more thick and sweeter, friends like it less thick and spicier)
4. Garnish with chopped peanuts if desired.